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HOW COULD WE ELECT THESE GUYS?

How could we have elected such an ignorant Congress? Examples:

1. Roll back the standards for clean air and clean water. Yikes.2. In cutting NASA's budget, eliminate the single most important program, that of the "Earth satellite," which monitors the condition of crops and forests and measures changes in world geography.

3. Eliminate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) because it finds disturbing changes in ocean currents and temperature and reports that sea level is rising, as gigantic blocks of Antarctic ice are breaking off and melting, and because it finds the ozone hole is the biggest ever, and weather changes are entirely consistent with global warming. Right, kill the messenger.

4. Cut National Science Foundation's support of science-education when we have a deficit of science-knowledgeable young people.

5. Cut support of biomedical science right when biomedical science is fueling our economy and making unprecedented discoveries about disease. Even John Porter, Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services and Education, couldn't stomach this one.

6. Abolish public broadcasting, although it has more family- and public service-oriented programming than any commercial network. Trouble is, it doesn't take political propaganda or lurid ads.

7. Put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Let the lumber companies manage our national forests and keep the Forest Service out. Let the ranchers take care of the grazing lands that they have ruined. Engineer the greatest land grab in this century by giving BLM land to the states, where it is likely to be sold or traded, rather than to be cherished. (Eastern citizens, take note: It's your land, too.) In states and counties, graft is more prevalent since they're more easily arranged among friends and neighbors.

8. Get rid of some national parks. After all, a Utah representative implied, when you've seen one, you've seen 'em all.

9. Pass a gun bill that enables everybody to have slightly watered-down assault weapons. The bill has a delay so long that everybody can purchase a real assault weapon before the deadline. What the heck, it's not good enough that the United States already has more murders a year than all of the advanced nations put together.

10. Although a balanced budget is a goal, let ranchers and lumbering and mining interests use our public lands virtually free. And without regulation. A private landowner would say that is stupid. But then, look whom we elected. Thank goodness not all this was passed exactly as proposed. But enough to say it's a right ignorant Congress. Our fault, too.

Stewart C. Harvey

Salt Lake City